Energy Food and Drink
You're going to need adequate fuel and hydration for your running and trail adventures. Here you can find the best-rated energy gels, chews, and bars, plus electrolyte, hydration, and recovery drinks in enough flavors and forms to please any palette (just be sure to give any a trial run before that big race).
Want more food for longer outdoor adventures? Check out our full independent reviews and ratings of trail and backcountry food and drink, including meals, desserts, coffee, and more.
The best energy food and drink, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on June 2, 2019. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Food/Drink Reviews
The Liquid IV electrolyte mix offers a variety of flavors, but none of them are overly sweet. I ordered the product directly from the company. The product was delivered quickly and ahead of schedule. I ordered the variety pack which included three flavors—Lemon Lime, Acai Berry and Passion Fruit. There were eight packets of each flavor. It is recommended that each packet be added to 16 ounces. or 0.5 liter of water. At first I found it a little difficult to open the packets cleanly. I then realized… Full review
Relieves muscle cramps fast! I had returned from several days of backpacking in the Trinity Alps. The last day was long and hot, and I'd probably not drunk as much water as I should have. But the beer was cold, and it was sooo nice to sleep in a real bed. And at 3 a.m., the cramping started. It began in my right calf, and as I tried stretching/rubbing it out without waking up my wife (sorry, honey!), the left calf started to kick in too. As they both got tighter and more painful, I remembered the… Full review
This is a nice addition to the Clif Bar lineup of energy bars. The Peanut Butter flavored Nut Butter filled Clif Bar has an appealing softer consistency than the classic Clif Bars, which combined with a great taste, make these bars a nice option as a trail bar to throw in your pack for a day hike or a through hike. Years ago I used to be a big fan of classic Clif Bars, but as other manufactures brought a seeming endless number of options to the market, I started shifting to other trail bars that… Full review
A straightforward, no-nonsense trail snack that has become a personal favorite. Taste: With only two ingredients (cashews and dates), the taste is as one might expect (surprise, it tastes like cashews and dates!). I’ve never been a huge fan of raw dates, but these are much more enjoyable than raw dates, even though there is a distinct date flavor. As for cashews, I could eat them all day, everyday, so this bar was particularly intriguing for me. From what I’ve seen, most other trail bars/snacks… Full review
A non-GMO, organic energy bar that tastes great and has a backpacker-acceptable caloric density of 100 calories per ounce. The small size lends it to stashing in small pockets (but not so much for satiety). These are expensive, just as most organic, non-GMO products are. Here are the ingredients as listed on the package: Organic Dried Apricot, Organic Dried Pear, Organic Dried Apple, Organic Almond, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Baobab Fruit Powder, Organic Black Chia Seeds Here is the… Full review
Tailwind Rebuild drink powder is easy to mix, tastes good, is digestible and provided an ideal balance of carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes to replenish the body immediately after exercise. I’m a big fan of recovery snacks and Tailwind Nutrition has developed an easy solution for replenishing needed nutrients efficiently with the new Rebuild drink powder. The recovery period is often overlooked for long-distance backpackers but the concept has been around sports nutrition for a long time. Full review
These bars taste good and have a good, crunchy texture. One of my favorite discoveries this year was Kate’s brand. I have burned out on so many energy bars that I’m filled with dread every time I have to stock up. Kate’s saved the day with a bar that has actual crunch and delicious flavor. I quickly tire of the soft textures of so many backpacking foods but Kate’s bars use organic brown rice crisps (think Rice Krispies) to provide a satisfying crunch. All of her products use gluten-free,… Full review
Medi-Lyte is a low cost electrolyte supplement in tablet form that allows you to easily manage your electrolyte replacement with your activity level. This summer I took a different approach in how I went about replacing my electrolytes. Instead of using any one of the many powdered forms that are offered by many of the sport drink manufactures, I decided I would try using an electrolyte supplement from Medique called Medi-Lyte. I purchased Medi-Lyte off of Amazon and it cost $7.65 for a box of 50… Full review
These new bars from Skratch are a nice change from the overly sugary bars we usually encounter. Most endurance athletes are familiar with Skratch Labs. Their energy and electrolyte drink mixes are the stuff of legend. The founder of the company, Alan Lim, was a nutritionist for several professional cycling teams (BMC, Radio Shack, Garmin), and developed his "secret drink mix" after fielding complaints from cyclists about the electrolyte drinks that they were forced to drink. Along with Chef Biju… Full review